Claude Monet's The Seine at Argenteuil, also known as Vanilla Sky
Now close your eyes for three seconds, open them and look around.
Your computer screen, whatever food on the plate, paintings on the wall, that dark-green pencil on your desk, this is your reality. As your eyes perceived.
Grab your whatever food you’re currently eating, feel the texture. Soft, rough, greasy, creamy, crumbling, call it. Chow a good bite. Was it chocolate-sweet, juicy, tender, crunchy, salty, anything? That is another part of your reality, right like your skin and tongue felt it.
Stay quiet. Closing eyes is better. Listen to every noise your surroundings make, smell any scent floating around and try to identify them. Clock ticking, dripping rain outside, the aroma from the cup of coffee on your table. Humming CPU fan noise, kids yelling and running outside, the nostalgic smell of your cat’s shampoo or the pillows you sleep on every night. This is the real of realest reality, as far as your nose and ears can perceive.
Lift your palm, stare at your fingers like they have the eyes of your girl/boyfriend. Clench a tight fist, then spread it wide, then move them around the way spider crawls up your wall. Repeat slower.
Did the idea came before your very eyes? Did you just felt that your mind actually forms a somewhat different world from your body, the physical reality? You know you can wiggle your fingers around anytime, but how could they actually move? Okay, you’ve already learnt the nervous system, dendrites, myelin sheath, hypothalamus, neurotransmitter blah blah. But you simply think to move your fingers, and ting they moved in no time. You might not even realize the thought process. Isn’t that wonderful, you say, to be a human?
But wait. If you are, actually, just this big brain of gray matters put in a jar with self-sustaining liquid, and the sensory parts of your brain got connected with hundreds of cables to a supercomputer super enough to stimulate those five sensory parts — namely ‘eyes’, ‘ears’, ‘skin’ ‘tongue’, and ‘nose’ — so you perceive this reality, this world you see right here, right now… Wouldn’t that be a truth too horrible to handle? Can you accept that your bedroom, friends, family, lunch, dinner are nothing but computer-generated sensory stimulation?
Now you might say I’m being nonsense. But really, how could you know? A brain in a jar like you wouldn’t have the ability to dash out of your own borders of reality — this very brain that is you, put in a glass jar unable to move nowhere. It would be like Holden Caulfield jumping out of Catcher in the Rye and starts calling his author JD Salinger’s dead body the real phony. We, you and I, will never know.